Pet Dog - photo by hagit

The coming of the baby is the most anticipated event in the family. Everyone struggles to make things fit and perfect for the baby’s health and comfort. You may have done everything but most parents sometimes forget to prepare their pet dog for the expected arrival. The dog may not be a direct member of the nuclear family but having it around will affect the baby in the most unexpected way. So here are some tips on what to do with your pet dog before the newborn comes home:

  • Let your pet dog undergo routine health examinations and vaccinations to ensure a healthy atmosphere for the new born.
  • Trim your pet’s nails and neuter them for safety. You may want to opt for plastic nail caps for maximized protection.
  • Let you pet become used to baby noises and movements. You can have a recorded sound effect of a baby’s cry or screams including the sounds of toys you will be using for your baby.
  • Train the dog for areas in the house which are off-limits to him. Introduce the baby’s room and let him learn that he is not authorized to play around there.
  • Invite someone, a friend or a relative, who already has a baby, to train your dog for the presence of a new born. Safety is the most important consideration. Never leave your dog and the baby together without you around.
  • Put up a temporary door or gate for the baby’s room. Make sure the dog is still able to see what is going on inside to feed the curiosity and not trigger him to force his way in.
  • Inasmuch as you accustom the dog to sounds, you can also make him get used to baby smell. You can do this by sprinkling some baby powder on the floor or applying baby lotion on your skin. You can also bring home some baby clothes from the hospital and let your dog smell it. This way, you are giving the idea that someone is coming soon with the same smell.
  • When you are coming home for the first time after giving birth, it is advisable that you greet your dog without the baby. This will ease your dog’s excitement to see you and will prevent you from reprimanding him to go away from the baby.

Your dog has been your company during the time you and your partner are waiting for the baby. You have to prepare him too for the coming of the newborn because, whether you like it or not, your dog is an integral part of you family.

Preparing for baby’s arrival? What are the challenges that you faced? We would like to hear from you.